Jordan Zimmermann will be limited to just four more starts as Nationals monitor workload

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Jordan Zimmermann has fared extremely well in his full-season return from Tommy John elbow surgery, posting a 3.12 ERA and 98/22 K/BB ratio in 21 starts, but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals will soon remove him from the rotation in an effort to limit the 25-year-old right-hander’s workload.

According to Kilgore the Nationals don’t want Zimmermann throwing more than 160 innings this season and he’s already logged 133, so they’re expected to give him just four more starts before shutting him down.

Unless they skip his turn in the rotation several times before then that would likely mean Zimmermann not starting at all in September, with Stephen Strasburg potentially stepping into the rotation spot during the final month if his own recovery from Tommy John surgery continues to go well.

Davey Johnson indicated that he’d like to talk general manager Mike Rizzo into expanding the limit because of how well Zimmermann has pitched, but avoiding that temptation is the smart move. Ultimately a big part of the Nationals’ future involves Strasburg and Zimmermann atop their long-term rotation and a few extra September starts don’t mean much in terms of reaching that goal.

Indians designate Carlos Gonzalez for assignment

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The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.

A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.

If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.